Anna Danchak and her family have lived in Westport for 20 years. Her daughter graduated from Staples High School in 2021. Her son was a freshman there last year, but has moved to a school near Boston to play ice hockey. She has 2 other children, in the Westport schools.
Since the Russian invasion, Anna has worked to raise funds and support for her native Ukraine. Her family recently traveled there, to help. She writes:
We brought burn kits, bleed stops, water purification tablets and very specialized items like air release kits and bone marrow injections to a group in Ukraine which brought them to the front lines.
Steve (in the photo below) is an incredible Canadian guy who has gone back and forth for 4 months. He delivered supplies to Brian Mayer, the Westporter who has also done tremendous work in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, we volunteered with a UK-based organization. Our week at the border was full of busy days at the train station. I didn’t expect to see so many people still coming from Ukraine — tens of thousands, many from Odesa and Mykolai, some from Donbas.
We met a worker who was going back to Ukraine to the infamous nuclear station. I recognized him from TV to be the guy saying calmly to the Russian soldiers, “please do not fire at the nuclear reactor. It will cause a nuclear accident.”
We drove am elderly family to the airport. My daughters helped them check in for a flight to London. They had never been on an airplane, and were very anxious.
There are many children and women, and many elderly people. I got emotional when we were touring the train station for the first time. My grandfather who lived in Ukraine ran from Nazis 80 years ago. He was at a train station with his mom and siblings. She had no idea where to go.
I felt her despair. It was a very surreal moment for me.
We all hope this nightmare will end soon. But for now, thank you to everyone for being a part of the light.